The aim of the study was to review education and role preparation in US direct-entry graduate nursing programs.
In the last 15 years, there has been an increase in nursing programs targeting college graduates with nonnurse degrees. Educational pathways, role preparation, and doctoral study options vary.
A literature search was conducted. A secondary search of direct-entry graduate nursing programs was performed using electronic databases, including academic nursing sources and university websites.
Forty-three journal articles were located. The secondary search identified 42 direct-entry graduate nursing programs. The majority of programs emphasize role preparation for clinical nurse leadership and advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) certification; 62 percent require doctoral preparation for entry to APRN practice.
The growth of direct-entry graduate nursing programs will require educators to prepare and evaluate student outcomes to ensure competent entry to practice.